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Turning Dreams Into Reality

Challenge Aspen Turns Dreams Into Reality for People With Disabilities

Challenge Aspen offers individuals with cognitive and/or physical disabilities year-round adaptive experiences that redefine limits, recognize abilities and transfer newfound courage to everyday life. 

Founded in 1995, the organization offers programming to people of all ages with any disability type. Locals and visitors alike are invited to attend, and specific programming is available for veterans with disabilities.

The nonprofit’s superpower is providing equal access to recreation opportunities for people with disabilities, said Tracy Pihl, the organization’s Development Manager.

Case in point: one recent Challenge Aspen participant who had spent years dreaming of skiing down a mountain was finally able to realize their dream through Challenge Aspen’s adaptive skiing program.

“For decades I have dreamed about what it would be like to ski down a mountain,” the participant said. “I wanted nothing more than to experience the epic views and feeling of fresh powder as I glided down a mountain. Challenge Aspen made something I thought was out of reach a reality.”

A person’s Challenge Aspen experience is often the highlight of their year, Pihl said.. 

“Challenge Aspen provides people with disabilities opportunities to participate in the world class outdoor recreation activities here in the Roaring Fork Valley and discover new possibilities for themselves through adaptive recreation,” she said. “Other than just being a fun way to get outside, outdoor recreation provides an avenue for social connection and belonging, and for improving physical and mental wellness.” 

Alpine Bank helps to make these programs and experiences possible.

“Alpine Bank provides support for events that raise critical funds that support our scholarship fund, and by extension our ability to offer services to every individual, regardless of their ability to pay.”.

Volunteers are another huge part of Challenge Aspen’s success. The nonprofit has over 126 active community volunteers who selflessly give of their time. 

“I am extremely grateful to have volunteered with Challenge Aspen and am so moved by the participants, the strong sense of community, and the dedication of the staff,” said one volunteer after a music and dance camp experience. “I have been touched by my volunteer experience at camp, and I truly value that!”

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Alpine Bank Staff

Alpine Bank is an independent, employee-owned organization with headquarters in Glenwood Springs and banking offices across Colorado’s Western Slope, mountains and Front Range.

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